Let's face it, summertime is hot and there comes a point when air conditioning no longer works and you need to be cooled from the inside out. When that happens, it's time to break out the ice cream. However, there are only so many bowls of vanilla and cookies + cream that you can eat in any given summer. Sometimes you need to branch out a little. With so many artisanal ice cream parlors popping up all over the country, it's no surprise that to stay ahead of the competition flavors are becoming more and more inventive.
What are some of the most unique and delicious flavors out there? While we can't get into every nook and cranny in the country, here are 12 creameries that are worth visiting.
1. Salt & Straw: Breakside Brewery's Spent Grains & Bacon S'mores
Salt & Straw manages to make delicious ice cream while promoting a cause. They toast leftover brewery grains and crisp up bacon from local pork that has been fed with scraps from a food redistributor and then they whip it all up into a fluffy, indulgent treat for you.
2. Rich Farm Ice Cream Shop: Maple Bacon
If you just want the bacon and none of the grain (I'm looking at you paleo people), here is your solution. Family-run Rich Farm Ice Cream Shop is the birthplace of a long list of specialty flavors that are all made on site.
The best of which is no doubt the salty-and-sweet combination of maple bacon. It's a classic mix that belongs on breakfast plates and ice cream cones everywhere.
3. Jeni's Ice Creams: Wildberry Lavender
Three fan favorite flavors are now available by the scoop and pint in our scoop shops! Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk ice cream exploding with fresh berry flavor. ? Cookies in Cream, a better-than-the-original ice cream with Fair Trade dark chocolate cookies. ? And Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam ice cream with a healthy swirl of sweet-tart peach jam. ?
Floral ice cream is better than you'd expect. At Jeni's, when the heady perfume of lavender meets the tart summertime sweetness of berries, you're in for a real treat.
Plus the vibrant purple of the ice cream is unbeatably gorgeous when scooped out and served to friends.
4. Yeti Frozen Custard: Blueberry Pancake
Yeti custard is so smooth it's almost weightless on your tongue. Their bold flavors, however, remind you that you are enjoying a mighty ice cream. In particular, the blueberry pancake flavor is mythical.
Studded with real blueberries and perfectly balanced in its taste, there is nothing more satisfying. Except for a real blueberry pancake of course.
5. Izzy's Ice Cream: Irish Moxie
This ice cream definitely has a bit of moxie. Blended with chunks of Oreo cookie and Heath Bar candy pieces, this flavor is taken up a notch by the introduction of a splash of Irish whiskey that is added to the mix.
6. Prohibition Creamery: Mezcal Vanilla:
These intoxicatingly handcrafted delights are one of a kind. Not only is the booze mixed into the flavors, but you can also slip in an extra shot of your preferred liquor for an extra saucy scoop. Topping the mezcal vanilla with more mezcal? It's a recipe for a perfect Texas summer.
7. Sweet Action Ice Cream: Biscuits & Jam:
When you want Sunday morning comfort food on a Wednesday night, Sweet Action Ice Cream's Biscuits & Jam is where it's at.
The texture is a wonderful mix of silky and crumbly due to the real pieces of biscuit that make their home among the swirls of jam.
8. Glacé Artisan Ice Cream: Goat Cheese and Fig
Kansas City, Missouri
Goat cheese and figs sounds like an Italian appetizer in ice cream. And maybe it is. This small-batch artisanal flavor is perfectly on trend, and its savory taste profile makes it officially appropriate any time of the day.
9. Gracie's Ice Cream: Cinnamon Hot Tamale
Take your taste buds back to childhood with Gracie's Cinnamon Hot Tamale. Unabashedly bold, this flavor takes a base of cinnamon ice cream and then adds a handful of chopped up Hot Tamales. So simple, yet so good.
10. Stucchi's: Almond Joy
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Since 1986 Stucchi's has been a favorite of Ann Arbor residents. It's easy to see why when you read their list of flavors. There are so many that it is almost impossible to choose your favorite.
Therefore, we're going to help you out and tell you that the Almond Joy with its chunks of chocolate and coconut shavings is always, always worth the wait.
11. Rococo Hand-Crafted Ice Cream: Sweet Avocado Cayenne
Calling all avocado lovers! If you love the creamy consistency of avocado, you are going to adore this flavor.
Beautifully balanced with drops of honey for sweetness and a sprinkle of cayenne for a kick, even those who think avocado in ice cream is weird will fall in love.
12. The Creole Creamery: White Chocolate Truffle Popcorn
New Orleans, Louisiana
Be prepared for the continual merry-go-round of flavors at this NOLA ice cream destination. However, you'll easily be able to try them all - they offer a Tchoupitoulas sundae, made with eight scoops and eight toppings.
If you aren't prepared for that though, definitely try the white chocolate truffle popcorn. The sticky sweetness of white chocolate compliments the salty crunch of popcorn and over everything floats the distinct trace of truffle.